If you love nail polish, you’ve probably heard of new “five-free” brands. So what’s the deal?
In many nail polishes, there are five ingredients that have been found to be irritants or linked to health issues: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, camphor, and formaldehyde resin. The occasional use of nail polish is not thought to cause long-term health consequences. But if you’re pregnant, nursing, or using polish with your kids (who often bite their nails and might ingest some residual polish), using a “five-free” brand could be a worthwhile switch.
We rounded up five of our favorites that are completely on-point in fall’s most trendy colors: deep hues and rich, silvery metallics.
01. // Acquarella
Acquarella is often called the safest nail polish on the market. Odorless and water-based, this polish is distinctly different from traditional petrochemical ones. No base coat or topcoat is needed. Instead use its special conditioner for three days to prep the nails for polish. Although the polishes are a bit less consistent and the remover can get foamy, this is the best and most stylish choice out there for eco-conscious shoppers and those with health issues. Out of forty-nine pretty hues, La Luna (a translucent metallic grey/silver), Donner (a shimmery green to keep for the holidays), and Void (an opaque black) stand out as top cold weather colors.
02. // côte
Inspired by easy-elegant California beach lifestyle and Southern France, côte polishes launched this past March. Made in the U.S., the 109 beautiful shades (hand-poured into little Italian glass bottles) are like dreamy swatches from an interior designer’s book of every attractive color. No. 76 is a smooth midnight blue with a pearl finish. No. 96 is a dignified neutral metallic gold, perfect for nail art over dark polishes. No. 108 is an iridescent silver glitter, perfectly complemented by black liquid eyeliner and metallic charcoal eyeshadow for a night out.
03. // JINsoon
Legendary nail artist Jin Soon Choi never fails to create highly curated art museum-worthy colors every season. Her fall/winter 2014 collection includes Nocturne, a metallic charcoal black for all you black nail polish lovers who want a slight update, and Melange, a silver with tiny gray speckles. Blue Iris, her best-selling brilliant cobalt, is an old stunner that is on-trend for fall.
04. // Vapour
Vapour’s Vernissage nail lacquer (in twelve sophisticated colors) is inspired by celebratory nineteenth-century Parisian nights before an art opening. Artists would intensely work on last-minute varnishing and touch-ups. Glossy and opaque after just one coat, Librarian is a go-to taupe for daily wear; it’s a chic neutral that goes with whatever warm or cool makeup shades you decide to wear on a whim during the week. Mischief, the brand’s newest polish, is a muted violet grey that will look gorgeous against a black leather jacket and kohl-rimmed eyes. And Captive is a rich, dark cherry that’s classic all winter long.
05. // Zoya
Used at New York Fashion Week shows and at local nail salons, Zoya is as popular as ever. Its vast range of polishes includes endless colors in various textures—basic cream neutrals, matte velvets in soft jewel tones, metallic ones in complex shades, and more. (You can easily search for a nail polish—by color family, tone, or finish—with Zoya’s Color Finder at zoya.com.) Zoya’s fall Entice collection, at $9 a bottle, is one of the line’s most impressive sets yet. Its cream formula has a medium consistency, and comes in übercool colors like Margo (a berry plum), Genevieve (a smoke gray), and Ryan (an inky indigo).